Is this ‘unity in war’? Lapid demands end to IDF operation after Netanyahu says ‘campaign not over’

The opposition leader pledged to support the government in its war against Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists, but it seems he couldn’t wait more than a couple of days to counter current policy.

By Atara Beck, World Israel News

After months of leading massive protests against the Netanyahu government ostensibly over the controversial judicial reform, which has been put on hold for now, Opposition leader Yair Lapid vowed to give his full backing to the government’s war on terror.

“The opposition will support the government in any military action that will bring peace and security to the residents of the south,” he tweeted last week, when the IDF struck back at Gaza terrorists who had fired rockets into Israeli territory following the death of hunger-striking terrorist Khader Adnan.

Again this week, with the start of the IDF’s Operation Shield and Arrow, Lapid pledged unity, saying that “a firm Israeli response at a time and place that is good for us is the way to deal with terror from Gaza. We will back all operational activity to protect the residents of the south.”

Just two days later, however, on Thursday morning, Lapid said in an interview with Kan Radio that it’s time to stop the operation – in contrast to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement to the nation the previous evening that “the campaign is not yet over.”

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“The operation is justified. A few days ago, they fired hundreds of rockets, and to repair deterrence, we must respond. There are no political gains that Israel needs at the moment from this operation. The operation had nice results, and we must stop now,” Lapid told the radio station.

It isn’t clear what “political gains” he was referring to, as the operation is in fact a defense measure for the security of Israeli civilians, particularly those living in the Gaza envelope.

The threat is far from over, as was seen later in the evening when a rocket achieved a direct hit on a building in Rehovot, killing one man and wounding several others.

As of 8 p.m. Thursday, since the start of the operation Tuesday morning against both the leadership and the infrastructure of the PIJ, the IDF has struck 191 targets, including facilities for the production of weapons, underground tunnels and leading terrorists, TPS reported.